The 2015 China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) came to an end successfully, yet its specialized exhibition still carries its banner. On 19 November 2015, China-ASEAN Expo Forest and Wood Products Exhibition took place in Nanning, the provincial capital of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China.
Being an important part of the new pattern ¡°One Theme, Several Specialties¡± of CAEXPO, the Forest and Wood Products Exhibition provides the forest industry of China and ASEAN with a scientific and efficient platform for communication, promoting China-ASEAN industrial complementarity.
Focus on Demands of Regional Markets
During the interview, Huang Yuan, Deputy Secretary-General of China-ASEAN Expo Secretariat introduced that the 2015 China-ASEAN Expo Forest and Wood Products Exhibition (FWPE) had attracted 250 enterprises, among which 25% were from foreign countries such as Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Pakistan and India. Forest industrial associations from 6 nations, the Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation, the International Wood Culture Society and many other international organizations also presented at the exhibition. Additionally, an awarding ceremony was held for the first collection of certified Chinese forest aliment enterprises at the opening ceremony.
The sponsor of 2015 FWPE has adjusted and elaborately designed the content of exhibition according to the progress and demands of Chinese and ASEAN forest industrial chain. The content included such domains as forest products, machinery, technology in the industrial chain. Vietnam Trade Promotion Agency once again co-organized the exhibition and ¡°reserved¡± a pavilion to manifest the country¡¯s distinguishing mahogany furniture. Enterprises from Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Indonesia also brought their numerous wooden furniture, artifacts and house wares. Chinese enterprises focused on their machinery, special economic forest, vegetation, forest technology, etc, in which they have the technological advantages.
Being the specialty of Guangxi (China)-ASEAN region, mahogany furniture and artifacts were counted part of the major categories in the exhibition. Vietnam, which put its mahogany furniture in the place of flagship product in the 2015 exhibition as usual, is the largest mahogany exporter for China. According to the statistics, from January to October, 2015, the volume of imported mahogany furniture from ASEAN to China was US$ 320.30 thousand, among which 45.7 % (i.e. US$ 146.40 thousand) came from Vietnam. It was the 5th time that Vietnam has ¡°reserved¡± a separated pavilion in the exhibition. Pham Thanh Binh, Consul General for Vietnam at Nanning suggested that, Chinese products are well-accepted in Vietnam. He was expecting that more Chinese enterprises, including mahogany distributors, would go to his country for exhibitions, businesses and investments.
The city of Dongxing, an important Chinese mahogany producer and distribution center, officially reserved a pavilion that was later named as ¡°Dongxing¡¯s refined mahogany products pavilion¡± to present Dongxing¡¯s upscale mahogany merchandises during the 2015 FWPE. Chen Jianlin, Mayor of Dongxing, indicated that the city is on progress to promote its scheme on mahogany industry development, and to build a 133.33-hectare upscale industrial center. The local government is planning to publish a series of supportive policies to encourage and guide the relevant enterprises to upgrade their equipment and to renovate their manufacturing process. Today this industry is beginning to take shape in Dongxing. The Mayor is hoping that through this nice opportunity of exhibition, the reputation, popularity and influence of mahogany industry of his city would have their promotions.
A Professional, Pragmatic and Active Platform
In addition to the manifestation of goods, during the 2015 FWPE, numerous professional forums and commercial matching conferences were also held. Professional associations from 6 ASEAN members participated the activities with enthusiasm. The activities were proved to be more professional as a result of several scientific institutions¡¯ presentation, thus more scientific and efficient communicating platforms were created inside the most potential domains which were the most concerned by the activities. Moreover, numerous other activities were also held during the exhibition.
In the context of establishing the upgraded version of China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and the China-ASEAN ¡°Diamond Decade¡±, the communicating platform, which starts pragmatic dialogues centered on the new cooperative opportunities, would be beneficial to the communication, cooperation and promotion of China-ASEAN forest industry.
A Promising Future for the China-ASEAN Forest Industry
The scope for complementarity and collaboration is large between China and ASEAN. From January to November 2014, the amount of China¡¯s imported timber from ASEAN was 7012.65 m³, and wooden furniture 7,018 thousand (the volume was US$ 576.96 million). The domain of export was also in a pleasant situation. Today, thanks to the Forest and Wood Product Exhibition, fruitful collaborations, more specifically forest product commerce, project cooperation, academic exchange, personnel training, etc, had been able to be launched among China and ASEAN members. Meanwhile, the exhibition¡¯s professionalization, influence and the exhibition itself are being ceaselessly improved.
Guangxi is one of the largest provincial regions of Chinese forest industry. It is well-known that the region¡¯s forest industry has considerable complementarity with ASEAN members, great potential could be found in the collaboration on forest technology and resource exploitation between Guangxi and ASEAN, and via the platform of FWPE, collaborations between Guangxi, other Chinese provincial regions and ASEAN members will be promoted, and complementarity and cooperation will be turned into reality. By the abundance and the expansion of value chain of the exhibition itself, more possibilities will be created for suppliers and consumers at home and abroad.
Mo Yiping, Vice-Chief of the Forest Industry Department of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, believes that the 2015 FWPE has granted the relevant industries in China and ASEAN a scientific, efficient and systematic platform that permits the realization of economic complementarity and the strengthening of competitiveness of China-ASEAN forest industry in the international market. On the other hand, the industrial cooperation and combination of these two parties will be a good example for other industries. In the future, to better serve the market and the industry, the FWPE will become more professional and marketized.
The FWPE is, at present, the most international exhibition among its kind, and it has the largest scale under the banner of CAEXPO. The FWPE develops rapidly; it has 6 pavilions with an area of 20,000 m2 during the latest term. Historically, the exhibition attracted more than 350 thousand people, and its total trade volume reached over 3 billion yuan.(translated by Li Yizhi)